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Police relaunch message alert system to help keep communities safe

Northamptonshire Police has relaunched a free message alert system, to help people living and working in Northamptonshire be much better informed about crime and police activity in their local area, and keep their communities safe. 

The messaging service, called Northamptonshire Neighbourhood Alert (formerly known as Community Connect), now has greater functionality than previously, allowing frontline officers to send alert messages direct from their mobile devices to thousands of local people. They will be able to do this in real-time while they are out and about policing the county. 

The alert service is simple to activate by registering at www.northamptonshireneighbourhoodalert.co.uk and is available to anyone living or working in Northamptonshire. 

After signing up to the messaging system, people will receive regular alerts from Northamptonshire Police, Neighbourhood Watch and other partner organisations, keeping them up to date and informed about crime and issues relevant to them and the area where they live or work.  

Alerts are received either by email, text message or voice message – whichever suits.  People will also be given the option of what they want to receive alerts about, and how often – they will only receive messages about topics that they have selected.  

Chief Inspector Lara Alexander-Lloyd said: “Our communities play a crucial part in helping us prevent and detect crime and anti-social behaviour. Police officers and PCSOs will be regularly sending out message alerts via Northamptonshire Neighbourhood Alert, appealing for help, highlighting suspicious activity, offering crime prevention advice, and keeping people up to date about general police work and safety events. 

“This re-launched community messaging tool means we can now do this in real time, with officers sending out alerts via mobile devices while they are still out on patrol. This allows information to be shared really quickly and much more directly with the public about crime and activity in their specific locality, helping us to involve and protect the community much more. 

“If for example, there has been a spate of distraction burglaries in a particular district or an increase in vehicle crime, we can tell people immediately.  So they can better protect themselves and be more alert to any potential threats and risks. We can also very quickly share descriptions of suspects or appeal for witnesses – giving us a greater chance of arrest.     

“We already have more than 10,000 people signed up to the alert system and we want many, many more to register and receive information from Northamptonshire Police and our partners.  By working together, we can make Northamptonshire a safer place to live and work and help to protect people from harm.” 

Signing up the messaging service is really simple and quick. The alert system is completely secure and registration is free. To register with Northamptonshire Neighbourhood Alert visit www.northamptonshireneighbourhoodalert.co.uk .  

The types of alert messages people receive depends on the categories they select.  For example, if people choose ‘Farm and Rural Watch’ as an area of interest, they will receive information relevant to this area.  You can pick multiple areas of interest, such as business, vehicles, animals and more, as well as different areas of the county – the choice is down to the individual.

The re-introduction of the messaging tool has been funded and supported by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner.  In the Police and Crime Plan, Commissioner Stephen Mold stated that the public play a fundamental role in policing, and that to create real and sustainable change we need to include the public more directly.   

Police and Crime Commissioner Stephen Mold said: “I’m really pleased that with our support, Northamptonshire Police has reintroduced this messaging alert system.  Without engagement and participation with the community the police cannot do their job.  Northamptonshire Neighbourhood Alert is an excellent way for the Force and other partners to share information, and I encourage people to sign up.  

“As the Police and Crime Commissioner, I want our communities to be as well informed as possible. By being aware of issues, trends and criminal activity in their own neighbourhoods, this not only supports the police to catch criminals, but it also lessens the likelihood that they themselves will become future victims of crime.”  

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